Issues with quitters


9 Years
Feb 21, 2010
Duvall, WA
I candled my egg swap eggs the other day and I seem to be having an issue with quitters.... Again... At first I was thinking it was a fluke, a random bad hatch, but now I'm starting to think I've got something else going on and I would love any ideas to help me improve my hatch rates. Here are the details:

Incubator: I'm using a homemade bator in which I have done two hatches and am in the middle of my third. It's a converted 12 bottle (?) wine fridge, light bulb for a heat source, two fans, only using one shelf for incubating at this point. I've got a repti-temp thermostat to regulate. I bought a Brinsea Spot Check and according to it my temps are holding reliably between 99.5 and 100.0. Humidity stays very constant - keeping it at 30 - 40% days 1 - 18, then 60 - 70% after lockdown.

Hatch #1: 6 eggs from my own flock, one baby. 2 eggs not fertile, 1 egg early quitter (before day 10), 3 eggs made it to lockdown. Of those only 1 egg hatched and I had 2 fully formed late quitters. Chick that hatched was (and is) healthy and strong.

Hatch #2: 22 Silkie eggs plus 2 from my own flock. The Silkies had a really rough trip, two broken eggs, several loose air cells. Let them sit with no turning for 3 days then turned twice per day. Only 12 made it up to lockdown day, then I candled and I was down to 6 that actually went into lockdown. Of the first 10 to be removed, most were scrambled, a couple had started but quit very, very early. Of the 6 that went into lockdown only one hatched. Two had super weird air cells, the others were late quitters. Both of the two eggs from my flock made it into lockdown. Of those 1 hatched, the other was fully formed and a late quitter.

Hatch #3 (in progress): 8 shipped eggs from the egg swap plus 2 from my flock. Shipped eggs were well packaged, no broken ones but some loose air cells. Let them sit with no turning for 3 days then turned twice per day. Of the shipped eggs I have 2 alive & kicking, 1 or 2 that are iffy, 2 clears, one or two with light veining (early quitters) and the rest made it to maybe day 10. I can see the chick forming but it stopped somewhere along the line. The 2 from my flock are looking great.

I know that shipped eggs is risky and I can tell there were some issues with USPS on both of the batches of shipped eggs despite to good packaging. I guess I'm not so much worried about these as I am worried about the eggs from my flock that are full formed then quitting. What could be causing this? I realize the number of eggs from my flock in each hatch is really small... Should I do a hatch with a full dozen of the eggs that are quitting and see what happens? Any ideas on what to adjust to see if I can improve the outcome?

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